Thursday, August 23, 2007

George Will Links Republicans, Neo-Cons, to Nazis

“Come September, America might slip closer toward a Weimar moment. It would be milder than the original but significantly disagreeable.
After the First World War, politics in Germany's new Weimar Republic were poisoned by the belief that the army had been poised for victory in 1918 and that one more surge could have turned the tide. Many Germans bitterly concluded that the political class, having lost its nerve and will to win, capitulated. The fact that fanciful analysis fed this rancor did not diminish its power”.

So writes George Will in his latest Washington Post Op-Ed.

Will is referring to the myth used by military leaders to explain Germany’s surrender which was negotiated by the civilian politicians.
The German military claimed they had never been defeated and would have “won" WWI if not for their betrayal by the civilian government suing for peace, which the generals termed a “stab-in the back” (or Dolchstosslegende)

The facts were that the Germans simply reached the limit of their resources and could fight no longer. The British Navy blockaded German ports preventing supplies from their small empire and outmaneuvered and out-gunned the Kriegsmarine. The Tank broke through the trench defenses, forcing German retreat. The British Army was able to deploy troops from all over the empire (and the Irish served in large numbers and with distinction) and the US provided a very useful replenishment.

Thanks to the blockade the greatest priority was given to the military; the civilian Germans lost fuel, transportation and eventually food to the war effort, and began to starve whilst inflation took hold. The war was simply unsustainable.

But rather than blame the policy that had created the war, the generals blamed the policy that ended itfocusing particularly on liberal intellectuals (which included many Jews of course). Hitler made much use of the “stab-n-the-back” myth to rise to and maintain his power.
This same argument is being used by Bush now in his nonsensical comparison of the “lessons” of Vietnam with the current state of Iraq; and by the Republican and neocon cheerleaders insisting on yet more Friedman units else America will lose--thanks to the liberal intellectuals defeatist policies, not the original flawed policy and gross mismanagement that has led us to this pass.

I’m not sure George Will really meant to compare Bush and his “advisers” and the GOP to the warmongering, racist, authoritarian, militaristic, intolerant and vainglorious Nazis (otherwise I'm sure he'd have included 'Nazi in the title), but when you try to draw parallels, sometimes you end up with a "equals" sign.

3 comments:

Parklife said...

Will is not exactly a fan of Bush Co. And its not the first time he's tossed out the Nazi link. While his newest op-ed takes both sides to task, it is rather curious in the manor in which he does it. I get the feeling he's against fundamentalism of all kinds. Yet, given his past.. and some of the comments.. he seems to be suggesting its time to go. Kinda back to the = sign.

5th Estate said...

thanks to your link, I see that Will's comparison IS intentional.

I wonder if the WashPo editorial board actually understnad what he's writing about, or perhaps they tink no-one ( that the editors care about) will really notice?
Will's work here is just a bit weird: He opens with valid comparison to the political climate in Germany 70-85 years ago, then defines the current political situation as a clash of factions with equal legitimacy based in beleif ( That's bollocks)...and ingores the national mood ( which is NOT like the public manipulated mood of Weimar germany) so he's got that wrong.
He ignores that Pollack and O'Hanlon have misrepresented themselves as "war critics" but then writes: "the rapturous reception of that one column by one faction was evidence of the one thing both factions share: a powerful will to believe, or disbelieve, as their serenity requires. Consider the following from the war-is-irretrievable faction:"
as though the two positions are simply matters of faith and equal, when the right is functioning on unsupported faith and selective opinion, where the left is looking for actual evidence of the surge's success. These two positions are in no way equal sides of a debate where the one relies on opinion without corroboration or challange to win the "argument".

So Will isn't demonstrating any smarts here.

He finishes with:
"The reconciling, such as it is, will recommence when Iraq's parliament returns from its month-long vacation, come September."

Pretty damn cryptic if you ask me.


This is less an op-ed than a three different conversations with himself and a bottle of Tequila. :D

betmo said...

well, someone has to drink with him :)